Sizzle and Sparkle


Last year about this time when it was sizzling hot, I wrote a couple of blog posts on some of my jewelry (amber and turquoise). At the time, I “promised” I would post about some more pieces that I thought were interesting: antique, vintage, handmade, or had a story to tell. I also posted a few months ago about a bracelet I own with a mysterious past (I’ve still never found any answers 😦 ).

So, here are a few more pieces, all in silver. The above is a new acquisition made by Tucson artist, Michelle Spanyard. She also does Tucson map jewelry as well as a lot of other beautiful designs. If you live in Phoenix, Michelle sells her jewelry through Practical Art.


This is a raw chunk of lapis lazuli set in silver by Janice Stiles, a Phoenix artist. I got this at an art fair a couple of years ago.


I totally love this deer pendant, made by Navajo artist Jimmy Jensen. I got mine in Sedona but you can buy them online.



So these 2 pieces above have a story to tell. My grandmother had the ring in her jewelry box and I used to love trying all her jewelry on. I begged and pleaded with her to give me this ring and she finally did although it was too big for me then (this was many, many decades ago). Later on, I wore it in college a lot but then put it away and forgot about it until a few years ago when I rediscovered it. It’s pretty large and sort of dramatic. So…a few years ago, when I was on a major Mexican jewelry kick, and buying stuff off ebay, I came across the bracelet by chance. It’s from Taxco, the Mexican silver capital, from about the 1940s. They look really nice together and you would think they were a set but, actually, the ring is Navajo.


Shortly thereafter, I found the above earrings on ebay that match well. They are large, larger than the ring, and they are from Taxco, too, from the 1940s-1950s. I generally wear them with the necklace above, Navajo etched silver beads, which I bought locally about 35 years ago so now they’re “vintage,” too.


The above pieces are all vintage Taxco, the pin from the 1930s. The earrings are trimmed in bronze and the pin has inlays of turquoise or malachite, made by Los Castillo. There is actually one for sale on ebay right now but the price I paid was nowhere near what they are asking (so maybe I made a good investment).


And this necklace and earrings set are also both from Taxco. The necklace is new, the earrings are old. The necklace, sort of hammered links, is a recent acquisition from the Phoenix Art Museum Gift Shop. I definitely have a weakness for jewelry, but I’ve given up my ebay buying, although I do look occasionally.


My next jewelry post may be about my antique/vintage butterfly pin collection…


15 thoughts on “Sizzle and Sparkle

  1. what a beautiful collection and I love that you have kept some of your grandmother’s jewelry. I think that map art pendant is incredibly clever. What a unique gift to give someone who visits too as a memory of their time in a particular place.


  2. I loooove all the Taxco!! We pass around a lot of turquoise jewelry in my family…my grandma has a beautiful squash blossom necklace my mom and I have been trying to steal for years now. Southwestern jewelry is and will always be my very favorite.


  3. I love all of these pictures, but am wondering if you ever sell an item? That lapis lazuli you got at a fair years ago – is it a treasure to you? If there was any chance to purchase via Paypal, I would really love to know.


    1. Noeleen, I do like the lapis piece quite a bit and wear it often but I can contact the artist and see if she can make a similar one. She’s local to my town, would you like me to try that? I don’t know if she uses PayPal but I’m sure something could be arranged. I can get her email address, probably.


      1. Yes please, would love you to try that. Thank you for responding.

        I feel much for the shape, colour & allure. I would really love similar.

        With paypal, all I need is her email address and somehow (magically fi you ask me) they are able to pay her. Not sure if she needs an account also… but yes, we can work something out!

        Still interested…


  4. Some of my favorite treasures of jewelry are those given me by my family. I’ve begun sharing them with my children and grandchildren.


  5. Hi Candace – thanks so much for putting me in touch with Jan who made that lapus lazuli. I’m looking forward to receiving one! 🙂


  6. I purchased one of the Jensen deer pendants although I think it may have been made by his father. My daughter loved it so much she begged me to have it which I did. i am now in the process of buying another one.
    I bought it at the Grand Canyon or in that area several years ago. The story I was told that it is a replica of a toy deer that was found in explorations of Native American areas. It was made from wooden twigs that had been bent into the deer shape. I love that story because I can just picture a small child playing with it. It would have been light weight and small enough for the child to carry it him/herself.


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